Story at a glance
- GLAAD partnered with the hosts and producers behind the Emmy-nominated HBO docuseries "We’re Here" on a new campaign encouraging the LGBTQ+ community to vote.
- The video features drag icons, including RuPaul, and representation from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
- Scroll down to see the video and the full cast of drag queens and kings from across the country.
Okay so the internet hasn’t quite ruined everything — yet.
After the virtual roll call at the Democratic National Convention generated buzz and engagement online, the LGBTQ+ community is hoping to replicate its success and mobilize voters — featuring drag talent from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
“I hope it gets young voters and older voters, every voter, to stop and look at the issues from the perspective of people who need their voices to be a little bit louder right now,” said Cherry Lemonade, whose legal name is Conor Tubbs, a 33-year-old drag queen from Portland, Maine, who filmed her call to action in front of the iconic Cape Elizabeth lighthouse.
Growing up with conservative parents, Tubbs knew he needed to be able to defend his opinions and his place in democracy, voting in every election since he was 18. In a message to the disillusioned, he said, “Your vote is going to count. You cannot discount the fact that your vote exists and that's what it's there for.”
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The video features a lineup of drag icons, leading with eight-time Emmy winner RuPaul Charles and several alumni of "RuPaul's Drag Race," including Crystal Methyd, Brita Filter, Laila McQueen and Tempest DuJour, as well as drag king and winner of "Boulet Brother's Dragula" Landon Cider. Also gracing viewers with their presence are Shangela, Bob the Drag Queen and Eureka O’Hara, former Drag Race contestants who host the HBO reality series, "We're Here."
“It’s imperative that we as an LGBTQIA community stand together and make our voices heard loud and clear during this election. There is a great deal at stake for us and those who love like us, and if we don’t win, the conservative agenda will push back any progress on equality that we’ve achieved in the last decade,” said Shangela in a statement.
The coronavirus pandemic has been especially hard on the entertainment industry, and research from the Human Rights Campaign revealed LGBTQ+ employees are more likely to have their work hours cut during the coronavirus pandemic than others. Many drag queens and kings have been forced to adapt: Tubbs and a friend have begun performing drag shows in driveways while others, including Persephone Shakers, legally Ricky Sheridan, of Macy, Neb., have turned to technology.
Growing up as one of the few out LGBTQ+ people on the Omaha Indian Reservation, Sheridan said, “I didn’t think [drag] was going to take me anywhere and today it's taking me all over the country.”
One of the few indigenous LGBTQ+ people in the video, voting is especially important to Sheridan, who is also a regular, registered voter.
“A lot of our native people are being silenced for a lot of different things and we’re just trying to get our voices to be heard,” he said.
Approximately 190,557 LGBTQ+ Americans are unregistered or nonvoting, according to GLAAD. In a recent poll, GLAAD found that 88 percent of respondents were registered to vote and 81 percent of likely LGBTQ+ voters are more motivated to vote than in past elections. More than three-fourths of those voters favor Biden, while 17 percent favor Trump. But the nongovernmental media monitoring organization wants both candidates to speak out more on LGBTQ+ issues.
“This first-of-its-kind drag roll call features beautifully diverse LGBTQ talent from each and every state and we hope it especially inspires the millions of LGTBQ voters outside of major cities to use their voices and vote,” said GLAAD Chief Communications Officer Rich Ferraro in a statement. “The LGBTQ community and our allies in states across the South and heartland will be the deciding votes of this election. If our community and our allies bring our power to the polls, we will see a landslide of equality at a critically important time in our community’s, and our nation’s, history.”
The representatives from each state (and the District) are:
Alabama: Sam Star
Alaska: Gigi Monroe
Arizona: Tempest Dujour
Arkansas: Inertia the Movement
California: Landon Cider
Colorado: Alice Glamoure
Connecticut: Mia E. Z'lay
Delaware: Magnolia Applebottom
Florida: Queef Latina
Georgia: Celeste Holmes
Hawaii: Sasha Colby
Indiana: Miss Mossy Stone
Iowa: Domita Sanchez, Vana B
Kansas: Brown Sugar
Kentucky: Uma Jewels
Louisiana: Luna Rei
Maine: Cherry Lemonade
Maryland: Sue Nami
Massachusetts: Laila McQueen
Michigan: Gabriella Stratton Galore
Minnesota: Allota Shots
Mississippi: Lexis D'Ville
Missouri: Crystal Methyd
Montana: JuicyBouviér St. James
Nebraska: Persephone Shakers
Nevada: London Adour, Asia King, Anetra
New Hampshire: Ivy League
New Jersey: Olivia Lux
New Mexico: Lady Shug
New York: Shequida Hall, Brita Filter
North Carolina: Amazing Grace
North Dakota: Kara Fiyera
Ohio: Virginia West
Oklahoma: Londenn D Raine
Oregon: Flawless Shade
Rhode Island: Phaedra Phaded
South Carolina: Patti O Furniture
South Dakota: Maddix Wild
Tennessee: Wendy Williams
Texas: Violet S'arblue
Utah: Madazon Can Can
Vermont: Shani Stoddard
Virginia: Jessica Jade
Washington, D.C.: Vagenesis
West Virginia: Jade C. Stone
Wisconsin: Anya Knees
Wyoming: Temple Ceiling